Brad Paisley Honors His Grandpa

| April 26, 2014

brad acm2014A few weeks ago, Brad Paisley debuted his new single, “River Bank” at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas.  He did the song outdoors at the MGM Grand Hotel pool.  If you look closely, you’ll see a special tribute to his grandfather.  Country Countdown USA’s Lon Helton spoke with Brad about “River Bank:”

(Lon) Why do you think this song has been so big? (Brad) This wouldn’t be as different for me if it was following some of the other songs I’ve had over the years, but it’s nice to take a break and come back and have people appreciate you for what you’ve always done, and I’m having a blast with it.  For me, I grew up on the Ohio River, it was about 300 yards from our house, and other than the fact that my grandfather played the guitar, I was shaped by that.  I was shaped by growing up in that area, by those people, and the song kind of makes me miss home.

(Lon) I noticed you were wearing dog tags during your ACM performance, what were they for? (Brad) That’s a great question, no one’s asked me that yet.  You know what they were?  They say “Warren L. Jarvis,” they’re from World War 2, they’re my grandfather’s. I haven’t worn them in a while.  I have another lucky pendant I wear now, but I was in California, going through a box of stuff, and saw those dog tags, and put them on.  That’s interesting that you noticed.  But that’s my grandpa, who started me on the guitar, they’re his dog tags from World War 2.  That’s a great question.  That’s the best question I’ve been asked this year.  And it’s kind of the background of this song, this song is such a return to form for me.  This song is everything about who I was when I moved to Nashville.  I had two goals: To have a tour bus and a bass boat.  And I got there.  It’s fun to sing this, because we didn’t have a whole lot back then.  We didn’t need it.  We had an inner tube and a boat.

Did your grandfather love the river? Oh yeah, my fondest memory is fishing with him.  When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, we went fishing for the last time, he caught the biggest fish of his life.  He put it in a rain bucket so people could see it.  Then he told my grandmother, ‘That’s gonna die if it stays in that rain bucket.’  So he walked that thing back to the river by himself. That’s the last time we went fishing.

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